FIFA urge CONCACAF to put battles behind them

Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:49pm EDT
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - FIFA has urged CONCACAF's rival factions to resolve their differences while the regional confederation's lawyer has warned ousted president Lisle Austin against taking court action.

FIFA backed the move by CONCACAF's executive to suspend acting president Austin and said the body must end the bitter divide that emerged after allegations of bribery in the Caribbean led to the suspension of the organization's president Jack Warner.

In a letter to CONCACAF acting president Alfredo Hawit, seen by Reuters, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said it was time for the infighting to end.

"We believe it is important that as Acting President, but also the CONCACAF Executive Committee and all relevant CONCACAF bodies, now focus on bringing back unity to CONCACAF. It goes without saying that FIFA is at your and CONCACAF's disposal should you need any assistance or advice," wrote Valcke.

Frenchman Valcke accepted the move to remove Barbadian Austin was valid but also reminded the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean that Austin should be given the chance to appeal.

"After a thorough analysis of the file in our possession, the bureau of the FIFA Legal Committee emphasised that the relevant steps and decisions taken within CONCACAF appear to be in line with the statutory provisions of CONCACAF.

"However, the bureau of the FIFA Legal Committee emphasised that all legal remedies must remain open to those who do not agree with any decisions taken against them, in line with the relevant articles of the CONCACAF statutes," wrote Valcke.

Austin has a hearing within CONCACAF set for July 13.   Continued...